Italy Road Trip May 2016, Part II: Sleeping and Eating in Rome

Arrival and Hotel

We drove in from Lago di Bolsena sometime around 7:00 p.m., expecting to have missed rush hour traffic. Whoops: we landed smack in the middle of it. A friendly taxi driver told us Italians start and finish their workday later, and consequently rush hour traffic runs later. We followed instructions from our GPS and rolled up to our hotel, the Church Palace, oohing and aahing at the gated entrance to the generous and secluded parking around, set several hundred yards back from the Via Aurelia. Continue reading Italy Road Trip May 2016, Part II: Sleeping and Eating in Rome

Italy Road Trip May 2016, Part I

In May 2016 we took our longest road trip yet through Italy. It was a challenge to plan, given three participants on two continents, all with their own scheduling constraints, but we pulled it off to great success.

1st Leg, Regensburg to Piombino Dese to Siena

Continue reading Italy Road Trip May 2016, Part I

Mid-week Alpine Escape

The heat around Regensburg (indeed, much of Germany) lately has been hard to bear — particularly for a country so resolutely opposed to air conditioning. But upwards of 32 °C / 90 °F at 09:00 a.m. or p.m., even the most resolute of my AC-hating colleagues give up, and would turn it on in the office… if only they could.

We picked a good week to head south outta town on a workshop to (somewhat) cooler climes. Continue reading Mid-week Alpine Escape

Travel Kitchen

We like to combine two of our passions — cooking and traveling. Since we bought a car a little over a year ago, we’ve been planning on making use of it on weekend getaways, in the region and into neighboring regions, at self-catering cottages, or Ferienwohnungen, where possible.

But what are the bare necessities for that happen? Here are some things we’d rather not cook without, and/or experiences thus far have told us not to expect. We’ve assembled a kit we can throw into the trunk of our car. It’s mostly multi-use items, avoiding our most-prized kitchen implements where possible. Having a check list like this helps avoid leaving little treasures for the host or next guest. Continue reading Travel Kitchen

Christi Himmelfahrt in Amsterdam

Seems like everyone in Europe has been to Amsterdam. Well, now we have, too. Sarah had wanted a visit to this city for a long time, so we planned this trip as a birthday present many months ago (around the time of her actual birthday, which is not a good time to be in the Northern Hemisphere). Continue reading Christi Himmelfahrt in Amsterdam

Austro-Slovene-Italian Triangle

After the rest of Germany came back from Easter, we hit the road for a trip through the mountains from Regensburg to Graz, Austria to Lake Bled, Slovenia on the way to Verona, Italy. We had great weather most of the time. This was our second try on a few days in Verona, and we’re glad we gave it another shot. Continue reading Austro-Slovene-Italian Triangle

Escape from Winter 2015

This winter was dragging on and on and on. Fortunately we’d foreseen a need for a break from it far in advance and planned a trip to Mexico to visit mis padres.

Some highlights, in no particular order:

  • pal Rachel did her own escape from Boston’s relentless winter by meeting us down there
  • Sarah and my dad did a duet at the BVG Open Mic session
  • picked up a replacement stone for my ring (onyx had cracked; got a nice blue/green fire opal in there now)
  • tried out Sonora Grill Prime at Plaza Neptuno (it was a great meal!)
  • took in a live music concert downtown
  • saw folk dancing representing regions all over Mexico at a free outdoor exhibition (get downtown early if you want to snag a seat)
  • admired the requisite sunrises and sunsets
  • clocked some pool time, recharging our solar cells

Jaunt through London to learn about Germany

Our buddy Residentonearth suggested a weekend in London to hit the British Museum’s excellent exhibit “Germany: memories of a nation” before it closes out. We’re glad she had the idea!1 Continue reading Jaunt through London to learn about Germany

  1. She also spotted this photo op. Look at her gorgeous flickr photo stream, too. []

A Long Weekend in Istanbul

Working through the holiday season this year meant I needed to find another way to consume my remaining vacation days. We’d been looking for a long weekend in December as far back as June, and when Istanbul made the short list, Sarah scoped out a place for us to stay and some airfare. We found Istanbul to be a fascinating blend, over millenia, of Greco-Roman, Ottoman, and modern European culture and architecture. The weather disappointed us most of the trip, but there is a reason Istanbul has an off-season. That said, it was not overrun with other tourists, and that allowed us to appreciate how mobbed it must be in the high season. Continue reading A Long Weekend in Istanbul

A week in Scotland’s West Highlands

We’d been to Edinburgh once for a long weekend of exploring, but were itching for a change of scenery. (Turns out the itching would be literal at times.) When my parents came to visit from Michigan, they told us to pick a place we’d like to explore together. We chose a bed-and-breakfast in Scotland’s West Highlands to use as a daily jumping-off point, and we sure don’t regret any of it. Continue reading A week in Scotland’s West Highlands